This may be the year that the University of California cleans some skeletons out of its athletic closet.
Last fall, the Golden Bears defeated USC in football for the first time since 1977. Then Cal beat UCLA in basketball, snapping a 52-game winning streak by the Bruins that began in 1961.
Now, the California track team will be trying to beat UCLA for the first time since 1968 in a dual meet today at Drake Stadium. Field events begin at 1 p.m., running events at 2. The meet will be televised Sunday night at 7 on Prime Ticket.
It promises to be a most competitive meet, matching two of the country’s best freshman sprinters, UCLA’s Henry Thomas and Cal’s Atlee Mahorn.
Thomas has a 100-meter time of 10.25 seconds, and Mahorn, from Toronto, has career bests of 10.31 in the 100 and 20.27 in the 200.
Cal figures to challenge the Bruins in the sprints, 1,600-meter relay, 400 meters, hurdles, weight events, 1,500, 5,000 and javelin.
“Whoever wins the events that are rated even probably will win the meet,” UCLA Coach Bob Larsen said. “In any event, the meet figures to be close.”
UCLA (6-0) has won 17 straight dual meets. Cal (8-0) was runner-up to Washington State last year in the Pacific 10 meet.
Outstanding performers for Cal include Mahorn; javelin thrower Ilpo Poutiainen, discus thrower Kari Nisula and hammer thrower Jari Matinolli, all from Finland; distance runner Jay Marden; quarter-miler Peter Howard; hurdlers Rod Jett and Dave Chesarek, and triple jumper Ken Williams, the 1985 Pac-10 champion.
In other track and field activity today, USC’s men’s and women’s teams will compete in the Sun Angel meet at Tempe, Ariz., and the UCLA women will be at the Sacramento Relays.